Changes coming to Transport Board

Transport Minister Michael Lashley today announced plans for the upgrade of operations at the Transport Board, including the local manufacture of buses.

Minister of Transport and Works, Michael Lashley, made the disclosure today while addressing a church service at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church to mark the 60th anniversary of the Transport Board.

The state-owned institution will no longer be importing buses, but instead will only purchase chassis from abroad while government will award contracts to local manufacturers to construct the bodies of the vehicles.

From left: Transport Board Chairman, Anthony Wiltshire; Transport and Works Minister Michael Lashley; Transport Board General Manager, Sandra Forde

Lashley recalled that management entered into an agreement 32 years ago with local bus manufacturer, Acme Manufacturing Co., to construct buses.

“It is only fitting that in its 60th year of existence the board returns to the initiative of buying locally built buses,” the St Philip North MP said.

“This is not new. This happened some 32 years ago when the Transport Board engaged the services of a factory called Acme Manufacturing Co., under the leadership of Frank Butcher and they built bus bodies utilizing the Leyland and Mercedes chassis.”

Minister Lashley with members of the congregation

Lashley noted that the cost of local production will be lower than importing a vehicle, and will also provide employment for several categories of workers.

“The other advantage of the new arrangement is that it will increase the level of employment using local mechanics, local electricians and some other skill sets that are local in terms of building those buses.

“Since a bus is just a chassis and once we can import those chassis into Barbados and then utilise one or two or three companies that have built a reputation in transportation then certainly we believe that this is the way forward in terms of rebuilding and rebranding the Transport Board,” Lashley added.

The Transport Minister told the congregation that over the years the Transport Board has trained its staff, introduced new routes and now was in the process of introducing new technology.

Lashley further disclosed that smart cards will soon be introduced in an attempt to eliminate the use of coins to board buses.

“This will provide the Board with a more accurate record of their finances and of their input to the Transport Board in terms of revenue. I should be able to go to a bus with a card knowing full well that a particular bus should be coming to that particular location at a particular time.

“I believe that the Transport Board should also introduce GPS tracking that we would be able to track our buses whether that bus is in St Lucy or St Philip. I do not want to cast any aspersions on our workers but we want to know where our buses are at any particular time,” Lashley said.

A section of the congregation at today’s mass

He reiterated his suggestion that there must be a mix between the private transport sector and the public transport sector.

Lashley told the congregation, which included Transport Board Chairman, Anthony Wiltshire, General Manager Sandra Forde and other members of the management team, that the board was in the process of developing more routes, and pointed out that the Bayfield to Warrens route has proven to be very successful in terms of revenue intake.

The Transport Minister also disclosed that following a five-hour meeting with the private transport sector on Friday, his ministry turned down their application for an increase in bus fares. (NC)


8 Responses to Changes coming to Transport Board

  1. Thomas Katt
    Thomas Katt September 20, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    The problem in government run agencies is management. Everytime you all cut off the tail hoping to improve performance…error. Chop off the head. Proper management will ensure work ethics

  2. Mark Wrd
    Mark Wrd September 20, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    Sounds like a great plan .

  3. jrsmith September 21, 2015 at 5:06 am

    The real reason , you want to build busses in Barbados, is it economics, or the fact we just can keep up ,with the amount of vehicles which is constantly being wreck, by bad driving.

    Its all talk ,talk, about technology, but nothing about the safety of passengers, the bus service , needs good managent, tough rules and regulations, with penalties on drivers , if they are at fault damaging the vehicles in accidents, the bus drivers should have a special test which carries a certificate to drive these vehicles and a dismissal clause for lack of discipline.

    You can have a million busses, but no discipline and good management and you are still at the cross roads. failure and excuses.

  4. Markus September 21, 2015 at 8:38 am

    I would hope Mr. Minister that you would pay outstanding monies owed to service suppliers like UCAL first, so that we will be able to be involved in this venture you are proposing.
    P.s. The Ministry of Transport is still the single biggest shareholder in UCAL.

  5. lester carter September 21, 2015 at 8:51 am

    The real problem with this entity is management or the lack thereof, putting new wine in old wine skins is a failure, the operators are the ones who actually run this board, if the head is bad the body will be bad.

  6. jrsmith September 21, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Why you politicians and most bajans , think running to church and praying , is the cure for everything, if half the time spent praying was put into proper management of Barbados ltd we would see a better future for our young and country.

  7. sunshinecanada September 21, 2015 at 8:58 am

    Very well said jrsmith,thank,you

  8. Leroy Rudder February 25, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    I am a former LondonTFL driver. I admire the driving skills and confidence of the Bajan drivers. However their driving skills dose not inspire safety and confidrnce with the passengers. From my observation the Buses needs urgent attention in & out paint work inside proper cushion seat. Barbados depends on Tourisim. The the current state of buses sends a Negative image. The same for the ZR Vans. More on the spot fines for the driver and company bosses. Not keeping to regulation. Also for none working lights brakes/Head/indecators. Definately GPS for all buses. Along with all bus route roads should be the highest standard free of pot holes. Drivers should be reporting this. Also disaplineary any driver observerd using cell phone while driving.


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